Four Lab Staff Members Nabbed For Issuing 50 Fake Covid-19 Certificates 


Four Lab Staff Members Nabbed For Issuing 50 Fake Covid-19  Certificates 

Four Lab Staff Nabbed For Issuing 50 Fake Covid-19 Certificates-iHarare

Four laboratory staff members at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital were recently arrested for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates.

The quartet, Kudzai Chishaya (41), Gumisai Chiroodza (31), Nelson Mashanga (51), and Wedzerai Manyere (39) are alleged to have issued 50 fake Covid-19 certificates to different clients.

They appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate, Ms. Gladmore Mushowe, last Thursday.

It is in the States case that during the period extending from 3 August 2020 to 2 November last year, the four, in connivance with one Mercy Banguza who is still at large,  issued counterfeit Covid-19 certificates to 48 different individuals

The quartet allegedly committed the offense at a time the testing for Covid-19 had been suspended at the hospital as the GeneXpert machine used in the processing of swab samples did not have a functional cartridge.

Evidence produced by investigators includes names of people tested for the respiratory disease that were retrieved from the laboratory’s information management system bearing the accused persons’ passwords as creators, analysts, or verifiers.

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Some of the fake documents that were issued by the quartet were also recovered.

The State is expected to lead evidence from three witnesses.

According to New Zimbabwe, Magistrate Gladmore Mushowe denied them bail arguing they were facing serious charges of abuse of duty as public officers. The quartet was remanded in custody to 1 April 2021.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time someone has been arrested for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates.  Recently,  a Zimbabwean national, who is in Namibia illegally, was arrested at Katima Mulilo in connection with fraud, forgery, and altering of documents. The suspect was allegedly issuing false COVID-19 test results to truck drivers to proceed to neighboring countries.

The police continue to make arrests of people presenting fake Covid-19 certificates in a bid to fly out of Zimbabwe from RGM International Airport.

Recently, the police arrested three people at the airport for producing fake Covid-19 certificates before they could fly out to the United States and South Africa.

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